The use of e-cigarettes among university students in Malaysia

Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh, Roslina Abdul Manap, Tidi Maharani Hassan, Izzah Syazwani Ahmad, Idayu Badilla Idris, Fariza Md Sham, Andrea Ban Yu Lin, Chun Ian Soo, Rashidi Mohamed Pakri Mohamed, Ahmad Irdha Mokhtar, Hazli Zakaria, Jing Lee, Amer Siddiq Amer Nordin, Suthahar Ariaratnam, Mohd Zaliman Mohd Yusoff

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INTRODUCTION E-cigarette use is an emerging phenomenon with increasing recognition and acceptance globally. This study aims to create a profile of e-cigarette users among university students in Malaysia. METHODS The study was conducted using a cross-sectional research involving six universities in Malaysia. A semi-structured questionnaire was distributed to 1302 randomly selected students, who either smoked cigarettes and/or e-cigarettes. The 2011 version of Global Adult Tobacco Surveys (GATS) tool was used to record the respondents’ sociodemographic data. RESULTS The study revealed that 74.9% of the respondents smoked e-cigarettes; 40.3% used both cigarettes and e-cigarettes (dual users), and 34.5% were exclusive e-cigarette users. The exclusive use of e-cigarettes was related to gender (OR=0.18, 95% CI: 0.09–0.39). Also, male respondents were the majority users (95%). Of the respondents, 75.2 % were Malays, 98.0% single and most believed they have no health problems (92.1%). Further findings revealed the occurrence of adverse effects, dizziness 14.4%, cough 14.1%, and headaches 12.4%. Overall, 57.8% of the respondents used e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool, while others consider e-cigarettes a self-image enhancing tool or as part of social activities. CONCLUSIONS Further research on the use of e-cigarettes should be conducted on a large number of respondents in other settings to augment the findings of this study, and also guide policy making on and prevention practice of e-cigarette use, among the general student population in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalTobacco Induced Diseases
Issue numberDecember
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Wan Puteh, S. E., Manap, R. A., Hassan, T. M., Ahmad, I. S., Idris, I. B., Sham, F. M., Yu Lin, A. B., Soo, C. I., Pakri Mohamed, R. M., Mokhtar, A. I., Zakaria, H., Lee, J., Amer Nordin, A. S., Ariaratnam, S., & Mohd Yusoff, M. Z. (2018). The use of e-cigarettes among university students in Malaysia. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 16(December), [57].